Elephant Park, London
Sustainability is at the heart of Elephant Park. We have a commitment to nature and the effective management of resources not just in our homes but in the wider community as well.
Green spaces play a huge role in this. And that’s why they are a key feature of life at Elephant Park. Almost half the 24-acre regeneration site is assigned to outdoor spaces and green parks and courtyards, for both the new and existing residents, workers and visitors of Elephant and Castle. Equally important are projects such as Grow Elephant – a community garden within the site, which is bringing together the vibrant, local community of the area, and helping residents to understand more about how to live sustainably.
Grow Elephant is a mobile community project and garden designed to strengthen and expand the local network of community gardeners. Gardening is an ideal way for people to take positive action to improve the quality of their living environment, even in a well populated area like Elephant & Castle. There are lots of overlooked pieces of space that could be better used and more beautiful. A key aim of this project is to help local people utilise them.
At present, the team is working on a project called Edible Elephant, encouraging local people to grow their own fruit and veg. Supported by Southwark Council’s Neighbourhood Fund, the project has seen us working with several local schools, teaching children how to grow their own food through weekly hands-on workshops. There are also weekly food growing drop-in sessions for residents who also want to get to grips with the basics of growing their own produce such as salads and tomatoes.
For those looking to get involved with the Grow Elephant garden itself, there are volunteering sessions every Saturday where local people can come and lend a hand. There is also membership for people who want to volunteer and help out in the garden on a more regular basis, and its proving a great success. Over 100 people have joined up so far, each enjoying access to their own area of the community garden and their own small plot to grow their own fruit, veg or flowers.
This June will also see the opening of a new on site café. Grow Elephant will be truly in full bloom this summer.